by Steven J. Mcauliffe
Welcome to the crazy world of please-make-me-famous.
It is a world in which we all believe that our lives are only given
meaning and validity by a self-appointed panel of judges who, with the
aid of their combined wisdom, weigh up whether we are worthy of their
time. Thus do we willingly offer ourselves up, ripe and ready for
What better metaphor is there for our reliance upon others to decide
whether our lives have any discernible meaning? And the illusion
persists that if only we want it, if we simply desire it enough, with
every fibre of our being, then we may just get it.
CONTESTANT: I want this a hundred and twenty-five per cent –
JUDGE: -Well maybe that’s not enough.
Witness the crushed and inconsolable who don’t make it through to the
next-round of The X-Factor, or Pop Idol or Britain’s got/ America’s
Got/ Finland’s Got – Talent; the contestants who prostrate themselves
before sociopathic egoists like Simon Cowell – they are little more than
pathetic imitators who have been led to believe that, whilst not
possessing any discernible talent as such, then at least possessing a
will to succeed should be enough – wrong. You see, poor contestant:
you’re just a resource for them; and the chances are your crushed dreams
will be the images they just happen to need for their relentless
worldwide franchise bullshit for the eyes. It is a miasma for the brain;
deliberately consciousness sapping and spiritually-demeaning.
‘Oh please give me a chance; I really need this – I can do better, I
can!’- they wail; prostrating themselves before these purveyors of shit,
as if they are divine kings and queens, god-like in their
proclamations, the finality of their decisions carrying the same
illusory weight as a fifteenth century Pope. Elimination is
excommunication – once you’re gone, you’re finished – out alone to face
the wrath of non-celebrity-dom. -Damned to an eternity of obscurity.
But what exactly is it they want, these people who are willing to
prostrate themselves before 3rd-rate, dead-eyed, ex-members of
manufactured pop bands? –Who are these people that can’t grasp the
simple fact that there is nothing bigger than a hundred per cent (there
is no 125 per cent -a hundred per cent is the total, dick-head) – who
Fuel for the fire is what they are: Fuel for the never-ending Bonfire
of the Vanities, a manufactured eternal flame that must never be
snuffed-out; and if they can burn Michael Jackson, then what chance for a
fat kid from Birmingham who can barely hold a note? –’Go on, take him
out back and throw him on the fire, and remember to give it a good
And what is it they so desperately want, these contestants: Money,
recognition, acknowledgement? – Talent and artistry seemingly don’t have
a place in all this. The back-catalog of great songs to be plundered is
endless, and now they’re covering already inferior covers of songs and
nobody even knows or cares from whence these very songs emerged (not
from talent shows that’s for sure). Imitation is definitely not the
sincerest form of flattery when it comes to this Industry. The long-dead
Craftsmanship of the likes of Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Hal
David/Burt Bacharach exists only as a source for plunder. The source has
been lost within a highly-synthesised never ending echo-chamber; and
the echo gets weedier and more ghostly with each repetition.
Cowell and his ilk are parasites, predators who feed upon the easily-led and chronically undemanding.
And as for the mega-stars themselves: They are merely the egotists-Supreme, fad-attached and desperately seeking sensation.
Yet even they are not content with their ultimate-stardom or the
acres of gossip devoted to them or the endless multiples of tens of
millions that keeps pouring in. Those that don’t crash and burn under
the weight of their own guilt, or are rendered mentally-unstable by the
total lack of meaning in their empty cavortings have begun to dedicate
themselves to ill-informed and chronically-naive proclamations regarding
famine, war, and politics. Many of the views they espouse just happen
to be in lock-step with their predatory controllers, thus they (either
inadvertently or very calculatedly) play their own part in furthering a
geo-political, neo-conservative/neo-liberal pro-Zionist agenda.
-Madonna’s recent on-stage striptease (sigh, not again Madge) –
‘shockingly’ revealed her latest temporary tattoo: The name of a
Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban. This of course begged the
question (a question unasked by the compliant media): Here Madonna, why
not cover the whole of your aging body with the names of Pakistani girls
killed by American Predator Drones?
– But of course, the tattoo is temporary, as is her concern; the only
cause that she ultimately and consistently champions is herself after
I guess the one benefit to growing older (other than the deeply
unfashionable acquisition of wisdom), will be the privilege of
witnessing the likes of Madonna – a body-fixated, ego-inflated superstar
– having to suffer the indignity of impending mortality – I’m guessing
she won’t cope with it gracefully .
But of course, by then, there will be other younger models for the deeply unhappy cave-dwellers to imitate.
Currently at the head of the trailing pack there is Lady Ga Ga – as
equally self-absorbed and given over to empty sensation as her mentor.
Two years back she went all ‘political’ – (not in the John Lennon sense
of course) – the passion that stoked her fire was the burning issue of
Gay Rights in the Military: Bravo, applauded the media, under the guise
of equal-rights, you are fighting for two-thirds of your fan-base to be
killed in the never ending American Petro-dollar wars.
But perhaps the greatest offenders when it comes to making ill-judged
and ill-earned political judgements are the denizens of Hollywood:
(ahem) -Angelina Jolie as United Nations Special Envoy anyone? – At the
moment Mrs Pitt is working assiduously on behalf of the UN, doing her
bit to ensure we get yet another ‘intervention’ in the Mid-east, Syria
this time – no doubt these visits have to be scheduled around her
filming scenes for the upcoming the big-screen version of Mr Ed.
Back in 2006, it was the delightful Nicole Kidman, who was so moved
to action she flew out to Israel – the only nuclear-capable nation in
the Middle East – whereupon she bravely spoke out against the
subjugation of the Palestinian peoples, in particular she warned against
the soon-to-be-deployed white phosphorous missiles that Israel
possessed in vast number, and Israel’s policy of deliberate targeting of
children….oh, sorry, that’s not quite right: No, she spoke out against
the terrorism of Hezbollah, yeah, that’s it.
I’m guessing that for Kidman this was a burning issue, it wouldn’t
have been because many of the film executives, Producers and indeed
heads of studios in Hollywood have – how can one put it these days – a
certain sympathetic attitude to Israel (?) – Nah, surely not. I mean,
why wouldn’t you accept an invite to a conference headed by that great
humanitarian, Rupert Murdoch? –I’m sure the likes of James Woods and
Ridley Scott and Bruce Willis would also have loved to have been in
attendance, but hey, they had to make do with signing a much-needed
petition in support of poor old Israel.
There is a point to all this barely-concealed ranting, and the point is this:
Who would want to be famous, really? –To spend your whole life in the
company of these sociopathic self-serving, spiritually-bereft and
Can you even imagine what it must feel like to only have your life
validated by the sheer perceived size of your fame, to be totally
defined by self-body-identification? These people that many people
aspire to be are without doubt the least among us.
Although it’s easy to laugh at celebrity, and perhaps even easier to
laugh at the desperate hopefuls on America’s Got Talent, or The
X-Factor, aren’t most of us, to one degree or another hampered by
internal judges – whether they be our peers, our parents, our bosses, or
our teachers? Imagine if we unshackled and threw off the mind forged
manacles, if we stopped performing for others – better still, imagine if
Madonna threw a concert and nobody showed up.
Now that’s a happy thought.